A council in Greater Manchester is seeking permission to tear down a Grade II listed mill to clear the way for the construction of new housing.
Hartford Mill in Werneth, Oldham was built in 1907 but it ceased cotton spinning in the 1950s. It was later used by Littlewoods for mail ordering until 1991. Since then, the building has stood empty and its structure has deteriorated.
The building has suffered fires on several occasions; it has attracted intruders, endured vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping. Despite attempts to find a range of potential future uses for the mill overt the last 25 years, the council said the owner has been unable to secure a deliverable scheme for its re-use.
Now Oldham Council is seeking to clear the site. It has applied to Listed Building Consent for the total demolition of all structures within Hartford Mill. If approved, it would allow the owner to demolish the listed building and work with the council to put the site to alternative use as a residential development.
“Hartford Mill has long blighted the local area and has been an eyesore for years,” said council leader, Councillor Sean Fielding. “It’s also become a target for anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping and under my leadership I’m keen to finally deliver a solution and a future for this site.
“When people travel through Oldham on the Metrolink line they we don’t want a deteriorating old mill to be what they see – and it’s certainly not what residents should have to look at every day. Everyone deserves to live in decent areas where families and communities can prosper and feel proud.
“Oldham is an aspirational place to live, work and invest and to continue that improvement we must make full use of sites like Hartford Mill. This is a huge site with great potential and excellent transport links. I fully support the demolition of Hartford Mill and want to breathe new life into the area, providing more good quality homes that the people of Oldham deserve.”
The council says the decision to seek permission for its demolition has followed a “comprehensive” examination of all the options for retaining the mill, plus consultations with local people, political representatives, and key stakeholders such as Historic England.
Following Listed Building Consent application, there will be a 13-week public consultation before the application is heard by the Planning Committee.